Dec 14, 2016
CHARLESTON, SC – MUSC Children’s Health has opened a first-of-its-kind clinic at Meeting Street Elementary at Brentwood in North Charleston, and members of both organizations, students, parents and teachers gathered December 9 to celebrate this new approach to delivering health care.
“We are so excited to partner with MUSC to bring these resources to our community and know that they will provide top notch medical care for our students,” said Sarah Campbell, school principal. “Having nurses and doctors in our building will help us fulfill our mission of having true wrap-around services for our students.”
The MUSC Children’s Health Meeting Street Elementary @Brentwood School-Based Health Center will have a full-time nurse practitioner who can diagnose conditions, order X-rays and lab work and write prescriptions. A pediatrician will also see patients once a week. Medicaid will pay for visits in full, and the MUSC team is continuing to work with private insurance plans as needed to secure coverage.
MUSC President David Cole, M.D. FACS, said the clinic will help keep kids in school and their parents at work. “I’d say there’s a critical need for innovation and doing things differently as we move forward, because we have what is often a broken system of health care. Sometimes it’s in the communities that we want to serve the most that we do the poorest job,” he said.
“We hope this is a start, a pilot, an opportunity to show what can be done. And in so doing, maybe we’re starting to walk down a path that really has a meaningful impact.”
While this is the first full-time school clinic for MUSC Children’s Health, it’s not the first school partnership. MUSC Children’s Health offers telehealth to more than a dozen schools in the Charleston area and 40 across the state. Telehealth connects school nurses and their patients with specialists at MUSC Health via technology, using video cameras and diagnostic equipment.
Pamela Pepper, who serves as director of family and student support at the school, said the clinic aligns well with the school’s emphasis on innovation in improving the lives of children in low-income areas. “We are thrilled that this clinic within our school walls will bring critical medical, dental, and mental health services to our students. We know how much this will mean to our families for students to be seen at school, rather than taking time off from work and missing extra school time," she said.
Kathryn Cristaldi, M.D., serves as the medical director for school-based telehealth at the MUSC Health Center for Telehealth and will work at the school clinic one day a week. She’s been part of the effort to open the school clinic from the start and called it a dream come true. “This is what we’ve always talked about. This is comprehensive health right where kids are. School-based health works, and we know that it makes a difference. It increases academic performance and has positive impacts on health outcomes.”
To read more about Friday’s celebration, visit: MUSC Children's Health Clinic.
About MUSC Children’s Health
MUSC Children’s Health is a system of preventive and clinical care that delivers the most advanced, evidence-based health services to children from fetal stage and tiny newborns through the teen years. While the flagship MUSC Children’s Hospital is located in downtown Charleston, specialized pediatric care is now delivered through an expanding network of outreach locations, making children’s health care more convenient for families. MUSC Children’s Health is accessible across South Carolina at specialty clinics close to where community pediatricians treat their patients and through the state’s largest telehealth network. The telehealth network includes maternal-fetal care, tele-ICU, nutrition counseling, school-based care and a number of evolving programs. To learn more about MUSC Children’s Health, visit musckids.org.
About MUSC Health
MUSC Health is the clinical enterprise of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) comprised of a 700-bed Medical Center, the MUSC College of Medicine and the physician’s practice plan. It serves patients across South Carolina and beyond through four hospital facilities in Charleston and more than 100 outreach sites. Among these are the Hollings Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated center and the only one of its kind in South Carolina, and a nationally recognized Children’s Hospital. The Medical University was founded in 1824 and has become a premiere academic health sciences center at the forefront of the latest advances in medicine, with world-class practitioners and scientists providing groundbreaking research and technology that is often the first of its kind in the world.